People of the Story

For some people life is a poem, for others it’s a song, and there are those for whom it’s a tragedy, or a black comedy or a giant, epic fantasy! Regardless of what way the story unfolds, the one guarantee is that a story is being written, one breath at a time.

We are ultimately the people of the story.

We have a constant need for stories. We like stories about the world around us (the “News”). As we  grow up our stories evolve from picture books, cartoons and comics to full blown movies, novels and TV soaps.  Such is our appetite for a story we don’t seem to care whether the story is real or not and more and more we give equal weight to stories about celebrities and to Reality TV show stories featuring ordinary people.

If an alien civilization somewhere out there happened upon earth and began to observe us, they would probably say that this is a world of stories. To them, we might appear to be a young species of some kind who sit mesmerized as a giant story telling machine weaves its spell and enthralls us in its neverending supply of stories.

A story is of course a great learning tool, as long as you are aware that it is a story. It’s when we are in the story and forget that it is a story that problems arise. We begin to believe the story that we are being told and that we are telling ourselves. We forget that as creative beings we have the power to co-create the story and to change its direction. Worst of all, we can become so entrenched in a version of a story that we fight anyone who is equally entrenched in another version.  And so we have wars and conspiracies, financial meltdowns and power games.

More importantly, in the forgetting that it is all a story in the first place we can be manipulated by those who control the mass story telling machines. As the media industries of news, film and music become more and more amalgamated into large corporations they have the power to pump out a stories that can influence what we believe.

Right now we have a music industry that has become overwhelmingly mass produced, one dimensional and more like a giant porn and freak show. It is no surprise that the children incessantly being fed this one storyline are becoming confused, unhappy and angry. And the adults fare no better as the mass media is feeding us on a diet of war, fear and insecurity amidst channels full of largely meaningless programming.

But we have choice. We do not have to choose these stories. We have to move from our hypnotic trance and see that healing ourselves and the planet can start from little steps. One step is to wise up to the story we are being fed and start creating our own. Parents have a responsibility to watch what stories are being pushed on their children and to steer them to more creative and positive ways of seeing the world.

I feel very strongly about this as I see that the root cause of much of the dis-ease that my clients are now presenting with is stemming from a belief that it’s all hopeless and awful out there because that is the story they are seeing every day.

Yes we are the people of the story. The story has shaped us since we first started to create pictures on the walls of caves. But in truth there are only two operating systems from which everything springs – love or fear. We must start rewriting the story and co-creating the stories of love. We must give attention to the stories that feed and nourish our souls, to the stories that inspire, teach and help us progress.

The other system, the one of fear has no place in our world. However, as long as we give attention and belief to the story machine of fear then we make it real. We give it power and then bring into reality all the things we absolutely don’t want to experience.

If we just become a little more conscious about where we place our attention, we can wake up from the hypnosis and actively imagine a new way forward. Small steps and little choices can help us and those around us to unhook from the drip fed stories of fear. These are ways we can heal and grow.

Post courtesy  dance-with.life.com

 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(Robert Frost from The Road not Taken)

 

Advertisements

News from the world of nature

Some interesting finds are reported here by our roving reporter, Max the Reptile, who keeps an eye on developments in the world of nature and discovery for the Noetic Digest…

Saber-Toothed Squirrel Lived Near Dinosaurs

Source: Discovery News

Northern Patagonia was once home to a squirrel-like mammal with extremely long canine teeth, a petite 4 to 6-inch-long body, a narrow muzzle and a rounded skull, according to a paper in the latest issue of Nature.

You won’t see this critter stealing birdfood in your garden because it lived more than 100 million years ago when dinosaurs were still thriving. As you can see from the above image, dinos must have been no strangers to this saber-toothed animal that might have spent its days darting around columnar dino legs.

The discovery breaks a prior gap of about 60 million years in the fossil record for South American mammals.

Read more

=============================

 

‘Shieldcroc’ May Be Father of All Crocodiles

Source: Discovery News

An enormous prehistoric crocodile-like creature called “Shieldcroc,” so named because of a shield-like bony plate on its head, could be the last common ancestor of animals related to crocodiles and alligators.

Shieldcroc lived during the Late Cretaceous approximately 93 to 99 million years ago. Its skull was discovered in continental freshwater deposits from what is now Morocco, and researchers think that modern crocs may have first evolved near the Mediterranean Sea.

But Shieldcroc then and now is capturing greater interest due to its hard-to-miss “shield,” a raised mound of tissue packed with blood vessels and likely covered by a thick sheath, similar to what is seen in the frill of horned dinosaurs. It might have helped to regulate body temperature, but probably served a flashier purpose.

Read more

=========================================

 

Wither the Wolf, Behold the Coywolf

Source: Discovery News

Wolf pups howling. Credit: Monty Sloan. Wolf Park, Battle Ground, Ind.)

According to werewolf legends, some humans can suddenly “shapeshift” or transform into wolves. But in real life, wolves are disappearing in large numbers and being replaced by coywolves. These coyote-wolf hybrids are now common in parts of the U.S.

A new study in the Journal of Mammalogy proves that such interbreeding is taking place. Lead author Christine Bozarth of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and her colleagues collected coyote scat (aka poop) and conducted DNA studies on it. The DNA revealed that coyotes moving into Northern Virginia stopped along their route to breed with native Great Lakes wolves.

People are to blame for the coyotes moving in the first place, since the changes inflicted on North American ecosystems over the past 150 years, due to hunting, habitat encroachment, pollution and other causes, have pushed coyotes out of their native homelands of the plains and southwestern deserts. Now coyotes are on the move and seeking other places to live.

The poop trail left behind by the animals reveals that coyotes have been migrating eastward along two main routes — one through the South and another through the northern U.S. The new DNA information shows that Virginian coyotes are most closely related to coyote populations in western New York and Pennsylvania.

While trekking northward, they eventually encountered the Great Lakes wolves and interbred before converging again on the East Coast. They then gradually headed south along the Appalachian Mountains toward what is considered the Mid-Atlantic region, to an area centered around Virginia.

“The Mid-Atlantic region is a particularly interesting place because it appears to mark a convergence in northern and southern waves of coyote expansion,” Bozarth was quoted as saying in a press release. “I like to call it the Mid-Atlantic melting pot.”

Hybridization between canid species is thought to be rare, but as this latest study proves, it can occur. Hybridization may happen when individuals have trouble finding mates from their own species.

Read more

NASA Study of Clay Minerals Suggests Watery Martian Underground

Mars

A new NASA study suggests if life ever existed on Mars, the longest lasting habitats were most likely below the Red Planet’s surface.

A new interpretation of years of mineral-mapping data, from more than 350 sites on Mars examined by European and NASA orbiters, suggests Martian environments with abundant liquid water on the surface existed only during short episodes. These episodes occurred toward the end of hundreds of millions of years during which warm water interacted with subsurface rocks.

This has implications about whether life existed on Mars and how its atmosphere has changed.

“The types of clay minerals that formed in the shallow subsurface are all over Mars,” said John Mustard, professor at Brown University in Providence, R.I. Mustard is a co-author of the study in the journal Nature. “The types that formed on the surface are found at very limited locations and are quite rare.”

Discovery of clay minerals on Mars in 2005 indicated the planet once hosted warm, wet conditions. If those conditions existed on the surface for a long era, the planet would have needed a much thicker atmosphere than it has now to keep the water from evaporating or freezing.

Researchers have sought evidence of processes that could cause a thick atmosphere to be lost over time. This new study supports an alternative hypothesis that persistent warm water was confined to the subsurface and many erosional features were carved during brief periods when liquid water was stable at the surface.

“If surface habitats were short-term, that doesn’t mean we should be glum about prospects for life on Mars, but it says something about what type of environment we might want to look in,” said the report’s lead author, Bethany Ehlmann, assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology and scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. “The most stable Mars habitats over long durations appear to have been in the subsurface. On Earth, underground geothermal environments have active ecosystems.”

The discovery of clay minerals by the OMEGA spectrometer on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter added to earlier evidence of liquid Martian water. Clays form from the interaction of water with rock. Different types of clay minerals result from different types of wet conditions.

During the past five years, researchers used OMEGA and NASA’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer, or CRISM, instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to identify clay minerals at thousands of locations on Mars. Clay minerals that form where the ratio of water interacting with rock is small generally retain the same chemical elements as the original volcanic rocks later altered by the water.

The study interprets this to be the case for most terrains on Mars with iron and magnesium clays. In contrast, surface environments with higher ratios of water to rock can alter rocks further. Soluble elements are carried off by water, and different aluminum-rich clays form.

Another clue is detection of a mineral called prehnite. It forms at temperatures above about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200 degrees Celsius). These temperatures are typical of underground hydrothermal environments rather than surface waters.

“Our interpretation is a shift from thinking that the warm, wet environment was mostly at the surface to thinking it was mostly in the subsurface, with limited exceptions,” said Scott Murchie of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., a co-author of the report and principal investigator for CRISM.

One of the exceptions may be Gale Crater, the site targeted by NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. Launching this year, the Curiosity rover will land and investigate layers that contain clay and sulfate minerals.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, or MAVEN, in development for a 2013 launch, may provide evidence for or against this new interpretation of the Red Planet’s environmental history. The report predicts MAVEN findings consistent with the atmosphere not having been thick enough to provide warm, wet surface conditions for a prolonged period.

JPL manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. APL provided and operates CRISM. For more information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit:

Source: www.nasa.gov